Ahead of the European U21 Championships this summer, two of the French youth team’s key players in forwards Rayan Cherki and Amine Gouiri have been linked with a switch to represent Algeria – the country of their families’ descent – on the international stage instead.
According to RMC Sport, neither the Lyon attacking midfielder nor the Rennes striker have made a decision on their international futures. The rumours have come in the wake of another Lyon youth graduate in Houssem Aouar making the switch to join the Fennec Foxes, having made a single appearance for the senior French side back in 2020. Recently, two youth internationals in Nantes full-back Jaouen Hadjam and Nice’s Badredine Bouanani changed footballing allegiances to Algeria as well.
In Gouiri’s case specifically, the 23-year-old does not intend to make a decision until after the Euros in Romania and Georgia, which he intends to take part in.
Asked about the topic during a press conference, national team manager Sylvain Ripoll indicated that he would respect any choice the players make: “The important thing is that they have the freedom to choose, to have their convictions, their ideals. All we can do is respect that, there are no other positions to take. I have no doubts about the French national team’s attractiveness.”
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin